Friday, June 15, 2012

Heartbreak for 'Rakers in loss to Dianda Plaza

CONCORD -- There is heartbreak, and then there is whatever the hell it is that happened Thursday, June 7 on Field 1.

There the Muckrakers were, cruising along with a seven-run lead going into the bottom of the last inning. Things were seemingly well in hand. And then .... and then .....

They say there's no crying in baseball. After June 7, we're not so sure about softball.

No, no 'Rakers that we know of teared up. The Men of Muck may have taken one on the chin, but they rose from the canvas, walked off the bruises .... and partied as per usual long into the evening.

Nothing stops the Muckrakers' drive toward excellence, not even a 12-11 setback to longtime rival Dianda Plaza on Field Uno.

Manager Matt Knauff's single plated Luke Abbott and Randy Striegel, giving the 'Rakers an 11-2 lead going into the bottom of the sixth inning. Dianda Plaza scored a pair of runs in their half, cutting the margin to 11-4.

The 'Rakers didn't score in the top seventh, which seemed no biggie at the time. DP hadn't done much on offense all night, surely this one was in the bag.

But as the Mucksters well know, it ain't over 'til it's over. Suddenly, in the bottom of the seventh, DP bloops that had previously found 'Raker gloves were dropping in. Grounders that had gone into Muckraker mitts to die were suddenly finding the infield gaps. DP batters sporting 0-fers started spanking line drives. The 'Rakers even were able to record two outs, but they're still looking for that third out. When it was all said and done, DP had pushed across the seven runs necessary for the win. DP was understandably ecstatic. The Muckrakers ....... were stunned.

It may be hard to recall now, but a lot of good things happened on this day for Yer Heroes. Striegel tripled in the first and had a 3 for 4 game. Bob Brindley graced the 'Rakesters with his presence and went 2 for 4, singling and doubling and scoring twice in his first two at-bats. Eric Leithliter singled in a pair of runs in the first and went 2 for 3 in the game. Reed Johnson doubled and scored in the fifth. Also Enjoying multiple-hit games were  Dave Alcorn (3 for 4), Chris Wagnon and Abbott.

Knauff made a tremendous catch in deep center in the third inning, and third baseman Johnson instigated a nifty double play in the first.  Alcorn hustled his way into scoring one run, and nearly hustled his way to two runs, save for a umpire's call that did not go the visiting team's way.

And, let's face it, Los Muckereros are pretty much a shoo-in for the playoffs, and first place in the D-League East remains a possibility. There is still much softball to be played, including a rematch with Dianda Plaza.

And it's not even worth asking who partied harder after the game. In some areas, the Muckrakers are undefeated.

No comments: